The purpose of this article is to attempt an approach to the problem of women in an ‘urban setting’. Taking the Parisian region as an example, we analyse the ambivalent role played by transport in women’s insertion in society. We try to pinpoint the determinants of women’s mobility, one of the components of their way of life, considering both the availability of transport‐public and individual‐and the roles which are Allotted to women within the family. Stress is put on the prevalent contradictions which exist between the ideological norms of a patriarchal order which primarily bind women to the home and the requirements of the present capitalist system which needs them in the labour market while at the same time benefitting from certain aspects of the functioning of the family unit. Women are therefore constantly faced with the problems of reconciling family and domestic life with life outside the home. In this attempt at reconciliation, transport plays an important part.